Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

August 2015: August 8-14

Fathers Denis R., Thomas and Luke were the principal celebrants at Mass this past week. Here are some excerpts from their homilies:

Fr. Luke:

Saturday, St. Dominic: To love God is to have feelings for God. One must love God with the entirety of their being -- through their body, soul, mind, deeds and actions. How do you accomplish Jesus' greatest commandment, to love?

Sunday: When there is an interior openness to receiving God, we often experience God's presence. Fr. Luke related such an experience like this when he was at Mass before joining our monastic community. Fr. Luke asked us what our experience is with the Eucharist. Do we hear God calling us through the voice of Jesus Christ?

Fr. Thomas:

Monday, St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr: If we all believed the poor were the true riches of the Church, like St. Lawrence understood, we might have less poverty in the world. The poor have nothing to give us except their humanity. Christ adored their humanity with his divinity. May we honor the richness of our humanity that God has gifted us and adorned in us.

(Today was also Br. Lorenzo's first feast day and his birthday!)

Tuesday, St. Clare of Assisi: Clare became poor through holy poverty out of necessity. It's not for everyone, but it was for Clare. What if the lost sheep is the religious who leaves the other 99? Maybe Clare knew it was best to leave the 99 (the world's way) to grow closer to Christ. The monastery or religious house is a hospital where we receive special treatment, not because we are great but because we need it so much.

Wednesday: There is a wonderful parallel between today's Gospel about working through conflict and how St. Benedict wrote about conflict resolution among community members. This is so different than our American civil system. We thank God for his mercy and treating us kindly and not punishing us severely based on our particular offenses. God wishes for us to be who he created us to be.

Thursday: What is the promised land Jesus crossed to with his disciples? It is the land of mercy. In our spiritual life, we cross between "woe is me and my sinful nature" and "oh, I've done nothing wrong." When we stand in this tension, we realize that we are sinners and we are loved. We can then forgive others and also praise God for his love and mercy.

Fr. Denis R.:

Friday, St. Maximilian Kolbe: It takes a lifetime to become a martyr, not a singular moment. St. Maximilian became a martyr because he listened to and believed today's First Reading. Hopefully, we can be like this, but often times we are the ones inflicting martyrdom on others. I wonder what our legacy will be? We can begin by saying, "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."

Br. Martin and Br. Michael Moran, CP, led an art retreat here this week in the old butchery building/museum. The chickens, which are housed near there, were very inquisitive of the participants' vehicles, taking some time to nap under their cars.

Three inmates at Branchville Prison received the sacrament of Confirmation. Br. Zachary oversees their formation and also coordinates sacramental assistance for Mass. Many of the seminarians aid in the prison ministry efforts as part of their pastoral formation. A handful of the Branchville residents are also oblates of our monastery.

We had two vocation guests visiting us this week. Please pray for their continued discernment.

Deacon candidates from the Archdiocese of Louisville spent time here this week in homiletics training and joined us for several liturgies.

Fr. Jonathan returned this week from his summer parish work in Colorado.

Fr. Sebastian, after 20 years of work at Canterbury School in New Milford, CT, has returned to reside in the monastery. Also, Fr. Damian, after 15 years serving as pastor at St. Henry Parish in St. Henry, IN, returned to the monastery to take up residence here. Fr. Jack Durchholz, pastor of St. Ferdinand Parish, will take over as pastor, as originally planned for by the Evansville Diocese pastoral plan. We welcome them home after many years of dedicated service to their respective school and parish communities.

Br. André worked on some different bread recipes in school at Sullivan University this week, and he has also been practicing his cake decorating. He also served a wonderful meal, as word has it, to several St. James (Louisville) parishioners and their pastor, Fr. Gary Padgett, as part of a parish auction item. Br. André resides at St. James Parish rectory during the week while in school.

We are reading "Laudato Si'," Pope Francis' latest encyclical, at dinner.

Br. Francis wrote this latest blog post, entitled, "Appearances":

In closing, a quote from St. Augustine from Vigils this week: "Believers know the Body of Christ if they do not neglect to be the Body of Christ. Let Jesus live here on earth [through you] that he may reign hereafter in heaven."

Each day the monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey write another page in the long history of Benedictine monks throughout the world. Here are recent events chronicled at Saint Meinrad.